Thursday, July 23, 2009


David Foster Wallace, in the intro to the Best American Essays 2007, has this to say about writing nonfiction.
Writing-wise, fiction is scarier, but nonfiction is harder--because
nonfiction's based in reality, and today's felt reality is
overwhelmingly, circuit-blowingly huge and complex. Whereas fiction
comes out of nothing. Actually, so wait: the truth is that both genres
are scary; both feel like they're executed on tightropes, over
abysses--it's the abysses that are different. Fiction's abyss is
silence, nada. Whereas nonfiction's abyss is Total Noise, the seething
static of every particular thing and experience, and one's total
freedom of infinite choice about what to choose to attend to and
represent and connect, and how, and why, etc.
I am always gonna miss this guy.

1 comment:

Ben said...

yeah, that's good stuff. i should read more DFW.